Covid-19: No XE variant in India, health ministry confirms

Virologists in the country have said that it is not clear that the variant is strong enough to cause another wave

File photo
File photo


Published: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 8:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Apr 2022, 8:23 PM

The evidence doesn’t suggest the presence of Covid XE mutant in India, government sources said on Wednesday and denied media reports that claimed the first case of the variant had been detected in the country.

The government sources said that FastQ files of the sample, being said to be XE’variant, was analysed by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) which inferred that the genomic constitution of this variant doesn’t correlate with the genomic picture of ‘XE’.

“Present evidence does not suggest that it is XE variant of Covid-19,” a source said.

The Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation had earlier in the day said that “one patient is affected by Kappa variant and another by XE variant based on regular testing of samples".

The World Health Organisation had recently said that a new Covid mutant XE has been found in the UK and noted that it may be more transmissible than the BA.2 sublineage of Covid-19.

However, the virologists in India have said that it is not clear that the variant is strong enough to cause another Covid wave in the country and have advised people to exercise caution and follow appropriate guidelines.


XE is recombinant of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 sublineages of Covid-19.

“The XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2), was first detected in the United Kingdom on January 19 and >600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since,” the WHO had said.

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